[Libre-soc-dev] maybe get ryzen 7950x for faster compilation and avx512

Timothy Pearson tpearson at raptorengineering.com
Mon Sep 26 19:25:51 BST 2022

----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jacob Lifshay" <programmerjake at gmail.com>
> To: "Timothy Pearson" <tpearson at raptorengineering.com>
> Cc: "Libre-Soc General Development" <libre-soc-dev at lists.libre-soc.org>
> Sent: Monday, September 26, 2022 1:10:52 PM
> Subject: Re: [Libre-soc-dev] maybe get ryzen 7950x for faster compilation and avx512

> On Mon, Sep 26, 2022, 10:30 Timothy Pearson <tpearson at raptorengineering.com>
> wrote:
>> > I don't have cloud price numbers right now...
>> >
>> > Jacob
>> Right, I was talking about the cloud pricing.  A quick glance at Alibaba
>> shows ~$60/mo. for four cores of 3.8Ghz x86,
> if 4 cores is all we're getting, imho that would be a foolish decision -- i
> already have a 12-core ryzen 3900x that goes up to iirc 4.5GHz.

There are of course other options and pricing plans, and I think you'd need to compare the overall costs.  You've said a few times your workload is single thread performance dependent, but then you keep saying more cores are better.  If you're loading all cores, that Ryzen CPU doesn't boost to the high 5GHz number any more.  Been there done that with the Family 15h CPUs, and it's still the case from what I'm reading with the 7950.

> and I think you'd have to justify the cost savings of having the AMD system
>> under your desk vs. just using an inexpensive lease from Alibaba.  Even if
>> you used the cloud service 24/7 for a year, that would leave over $1000
>> left over could be put diretly toward new development for LibreSoC, and
>> when you get to the 1 year or longer level they offer even further pricing
>> discounts.
>> If this was a question of true ownership vs. leasing I'd go toward
>> ownership, but with AMD you're still only leasing parts of the CPU so that
>> doesn't even enter into the equation sadly.
> dismissing it as "leasing" is a bit disingenuous imho, AMD isn't
> realistically taking it back after a few years, I'll still have the
> hardware and still be able to use it. even if it's proprietary, it's still
> something I get to keep using as long as I please without having to pay AMD
> more later, and I can sell it when I don't want it anymore.

You're still leasing a critical part -- when (not if) AMD drops support, when (again, not if) a security flaw is found in the PSP firmware, it's not going to be worth much or even potentially fit for purpose.  Resale value in that case is probably scrap value.

I'm also fundamentally opposed to purchasing proprietary hardware as part of a libre design effort, unless there is no other choice.  Saving a bit of time up front, but then having to deal with the system integrity issues that said proprietary hardware presents later on may not be the best long-term decision.

As before, just my $0.02.  I'm not a decision maker here. :)

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